How to Invest in Football Stocks

Roberto Rivero
13 Min read

These days, football is more than just a sport, it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. Whilst the vast majority of football clubs are private companies, there are a number which are listed on stock exchanges, meaning that they are accessible for retail investors to buy shares in.

In this article, we will examine investing in football clubs, highlight which football clubs you can buy shares in 2024 and take a close look at some of the top football stocks available to investors.

Investing in Football Clubs

For fans of the sport, investing in football clubs may seem like a fun novelty or even an emotional decision borne from wanting to own a share of their favourite club. However, this type of sentiment should generally be kept out of investing.

It is important to look at any investment decision rationally and make sure you are getting into it for the right reasons. As with any investment, investing in football stocks is risky and it’s important to conduct your own research into a club before parting with your hard earned money.

Factors Which Affect the Price of Football Club Stocks

Due to the high profile nature of the sport, football club share prices can be volatile. Whilst the share prices of football clubs can be influenced by many of the same factors that influence other stocks, there are a number of additional considerations.

  • Match Results: The only results most investors worry about are financial and, whilst these are obviously important for football teams as well, match results also have the potential to move share price. If a team is playing well, this can cause positive sentiment around the stock and elevate its price. However, a string of losses can have the exactly opposite effect.
  • Competition Progression: The further teams get through knockout competitions the more revenue they stand to earn from broadcasting and matchday sales.
  • Transfers: The arrival or departure of players and managers can have a knock on impact on a football club’s share price.
  • Scandals: This is something which can affect the share price of any company. However, given the high profile nature of the sport, scandals involving football clubs tend to be extremely well publicised. Controversial behaviour on and off the pitch, or spats between players and managers all have the potential to negatively affect share price.
  • Match Rights: A significant chunk of a football club’s revenue tends to be generated from broadcasting, with the bigger competitions typically generating more in terms of match rights. Announcements of new broadcasting deals as well as the qualification, or elimination, for top tier competitions can consequently have an effect on share prices.

Which Football Clubs Can You Buy Shares in?

The vast majority of football clubs are private companies. However, there are a number of options for those looking to buy shares in a football club. In the table below, we highlight some of the football clubs you can buy shares in in 2024.

Football Club Stocks
Manchester United
Celtic
Juventus
Lazio
Borussia Dortmund
AFC Ajax
SL Benfica
SC Braga
Sporting CP
FC Porto

Top Football Stocks

Of the 20 football clubs in 2023’s edition of the Deloitte Football Money League, which profiles the highest revenue generating clubs in world football, three are currently listed on stock exchanges. In the following sections, we will take a quick look at each of these football stocks.

Manchester United

Manchester United is one of the most historically successful football teams in the world and the largest football stock on this list. At the time of writing, its market capitalisation is $3.2 billion and it is ranked fourth in the aforementioned Football Money League.

Manchester United shares have recovered from the slump they experienced due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, as football club stocks were hit by a lack of matchday revenue during the subsequent lockdowns. However, it should be noted that a lot of the positive sentiment surrounding the stock has been due to the current ownership exploring the sale of the club.

Despite generating £648.4 million in revenue in the year ended 30 June 2023, high operating costs led the football club to report an operating loss of £11.2 million. This was its third consecutive loss-making year, although this latest loss was significantly lower than the previous two.

Manchester United identifies three different sources of revenue:

  • Commercial: accounts for revenue generated through the “exploitation of the Manchester United brand”, in other words, merchandise sales and sponsorship deals.
  • Broadcasting: comprises revenue received from broadcasting contracts.
  • Matchday: accounts for all revenue generated on Manchester United matchdays, including season ticket sales.

The chart below shows each of these sources of revenue as a percentage of the total revenue generated in 2023, we have divided commercial revenue into sponsorship and merchandise.

Depicted: Manchester United – Total Revenue Breakdown 2023

Manchester United previously paid shareholders a dividend twice a year, but it suspended payments in 2022, amidst speculation that the club was seeking new ownership.

Juventus

Juventus is one of the most successful football clubs in Italy and is ranked number 11 in the Deloitte Football Money League. However, the club’s historical on field success has not been replicated on the stock market, where it has struggled since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

At the beginning of February 2020, Juventus football club shares were trading at around €1.15 but, as Covid-19 swept through Europe, its share price crashed. Despite regaining some lost ground a few weeks later, the Juventus share price continued its downward trajectory and, at the time of writing, the football club’s stock is trading at less than €0.30 a share.

Consequently, market capitalisation is well-below that of the previous football stock on our list, currently standing at $740 million.

Unfortunately, the football stock’s financial results in recent years look equally underwhelming. At the time of writing, Juventus are yet to release their financial results for the year ended 30 June 2023. However, the club has announced that it recorded a loss of €123.7 million for the year.

Whilst this loss is almost half the loss of the previous year, it is their eighth consecutive year of losses. The last time the club reported an operating profit was in 2017.

In the year ended 30 June 2022, Juventus reported revenue of €443 million and an operating loss of €222 million. Juventus identifies six sources of revenue in their financial results:

  • Audiovisual Rights and Media Revenues: Essentially revenue generated from broadcasting.
  • Sponsorship and Advertising
  • Revenues from Player’s Registration Rights: Revenue generated from player transfers.
  • Ticket Sales
  • Revenues from Sales of Products and Licenses
  • Other Revenues: This includes club membership fees and revenue from stadium tours and the club’s museum.

The chart below shows these sources of revenue as percentages of total revenue for the year ended 30 June 2022.

Depicted: Juventus – Total Revenue Breakdown 2023

It is worth bearing in mind that Juventus have been involved in a couple of notable scandals in recent history, both of which have resulted in tough sanctions against the club and, predictably, a decline in the football club’s share price.

In 2006, Juventus was one of a number of Italian teams implicated in the Calciopoli scandal for which they were stripped of the 2004/05 Serie A title, moved to the bottom of table for 2005/06 season, relegated to the Serie B and handed a nine-point deduction. In May 2023, the club’s season was once again hindered by a ten-point deduction for false accounting.

Borussia Dortmund

German club Borussia Dortmund ranks thirteenth in the Football Money League. Its notable success in the German Bundesliga is somewhat overshadowed by rivals Bayern Munich, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is one of the most successful German teams in history.

However, like Juventus, Borussia Dortmund (BVB) is one of many football stocks which has not recovered from the effects of the pandemic, and has continued to trend downwards. Prior to the spread of Covid-19 and European lockdowns, BVB shares were trading at around €8; at the time of writing, this has fallen to around €3.60.

Depicted: Admirals MetaTrader 5Borussia Dortmund Weekly Chart. Date Range: 28 May 2017 – 22 December 2023. Date Captured: 22 December 2023. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

In terms of market capitalisation, BVB is the smallest of the three football club stocks we have examined, with a current market cap of $440 million. In the year ended 30 June 2023, the club’s record consolidated revenue (which strips out revenue from transfers) of €418 million was also lower.

Nevertheless, despite its smaller size and lower revenue generation, BVB’s bottom-line performance was superior in 2023. The German football club reported a net profit of €9.6 million, following a loss of €31.9 million the previous year.

BVB’s consolidated revenue is broken down into five segments:

  • Match Operations: revenue generated from matchdays, including season ticket sales.
  • Advertising
  • TV Marketing: broadcasting revenue.
  • Merchandising: which is handled by BVB’s fully owned subsidiary, BVB Merchandising BmbH.
  • Conference, Catering, Miscellaneous

The charts below show these sources of revenue as a percentage of total consolidated revenue for the year ended 30 June 2023.

Depicted: Borussia Dortmund – Consolidated Revenue Breakdown 2023

How to Buy Shares in a Football Club

With an Invest.MT5 account from Admirals, you can buy shares in two of the football stocks examined in this article: Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund. Follow these steps to learn how to invest in football club stocks:

  1. Open an Invest.MT5 account.
  2. Log in to the Dashboard.
  3. Open the web trading terminal.
  4. Search for the football club you wish to buy shares in and click the symbol to open a price chart.
  5. Press ‘Create New Order’, enter a number of shares and click ‘Buy’!
Depicted: Admirals MetaTrader WebTrader - Manchester United H1 Chart. Date Captured: 22 December 2023. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you buy shares of football clubs?

Yes. Although the majority of football clubs are privately owned, there are a number which are listed on stock exchanges, which means their shares are accessible to retail investors. These listed football clubs currently include Manchester United, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund.

Is investing in a football club a good idea?

The answer to this question is entirely dependent on both the football club and individual investor in question. Before deciding whether or not to invest in a football club, it is important to conduct your own research and to consider what you are aiming to get out of the investment.

How can I buy Manchester United shares?

In order to buy shares in Manchester United, you need to register with a broker which provides access to the US stock market. With an investing account from Admirals you can buy Manchester United shares and more than 4,500 other stocks from around the world.

INFORMATION ABOUT ANALYTICAL MATERIALS:

The given data provides additional information regarding all analysis, estimates, prognosis, forecasts, market reviews, weekly outlooks or other similar assessments or information (hereinafter “Analysis”) published on the websites of Admirals investment firms operating under the Admirals trademark (hereinafter “Admirals”) Before making any investment decisions please pay close attention to the following:

  • This is a marketing communication. The content is published for informative purposes only and is in no way to be construed as investment advice or recommendation. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research, and that it is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.
  • Any investment decision is made by each client alone whereas Admirals shall not be responsible for any loss or damage arising from any such decision, whether or not based on the content.
  • With view to protecting the interests of our clients and the objectivity of the Analysis, Admirals has established relevant internal procedures for prevention and management of conflicts of interest.
  • The Analysis is prepared by an independent analyst Roberto Rivero, Freelance Contributor (hereinafter "Author") based on personal estimations.
  • Whilst every reasonable effort is taken to ensure that all sources of the content are reliable and that all information is presented, as much as possible, in an understandable, timely, precise and complete manner, Admirals does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained within the Analysis.
  • Any kind of past or modeled performance of financial instruments indicated within the content should not be construed as an express or implied promise, guarantee or implication by Admirals for any future performance. The value of the financial instrument may both increase and decrease and the preservation of the asset value is not guaranteed.
  • Leveraged products (including contracts for difference) are speculative in nature and may result in losses or profit. Before you start trading, please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved.
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